OLIVIER GIROUD could perform a dramatic U-turn after opening preliminary talks with Chelsea over a new deal.
The Frenchman, 33, is out of contract at Stamford Bridge this summer and was expected to be let go.
But now according to Football London, talks are underway to see if an agreement on an extension can be found.
It seems unlikely that anything will be formalised and completed during the UK lockdown.
However, the two parties could move much closer to striking a deal.
The likely stumbling block, though, is expected to be regarding the length of the contract.
Chelsea have a policy in place whereby they will only give players over 30 a one-year extension.
But Giroud is expected to want a longer-term contract which would secure his future for the next few years.
Giroud’s agent will largely be dealing with Marina Granovskaia who handles most contract and transfer negotiations at Chelsea with input from manager Frank Lampard.
The French World Cup winner came close to leaving Stamford Bridge in January.
Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte was keen to take him to Italy and could go back in for him on a free should contract talks fail.
Tottenham also showed interested but although they pretty much had a deal in place, it was reliant on Chelsea bringing in another striker which they failed to do.
And just weeks after staying put in West London, Giroud found himself in the team due to Tammy Abraham’s injury.
He scored against Spurs and Everton as the Blues took steps to securing a top-four finish.
And speaking after the win over Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees, Lampard hailed Giroud’s performance.
The boss said: “When you have Oli, you work around his attributes. We had Oli playing well with his selfless self and he got his goal. And then you have the others working around him.
“He’s playing really well, he is fantastic in the dressing room. We had a difficult time in January when no one knew where he was going.
“He was brilliant and I’ve got complete respect to him for that and now he is playing really well on the pitch. He is a personality and we need that until the end.”